Bits and bobs, some of the small projects I've been working on.

I’ve made a few smaller things in the in-between the full-desk projects, mostly smaller 3D printing projects.

Working back chronologically…

Much earlier this year I made a resin cube. I used a 25% gyroidal infill on a 2” cube, and within the print settings reducing the wall count to 1 and decreasing the top layer count to 0. From there I poured in a clear polyester resin and let it cure. About 48 hours later it was fully set and I sanded off the sides and polished up the resin. If I were to do it again I’d definitely place the full form into a vacuum chamber to reduce the size of the bubbles that accumulated in the undercuts formed where the infill met the print wall.

Overall it turned into a fun little object, and serves as a fun proof of concept for further casting into 3D prints.

I’ve got a few more ideas on how to expand on this idea, such as printing a mold negative out of a water-soluble filament such as PVA and then casting into it. From there de-molding would only entail dunking the cured piece into warm water. Or maybe printing an enclosure for an electronics project using a UV resistant plastic like ASA, and then potting the PCB using a clear resin into it to form a fully weatherproofed enclosure.

Next up was another printing project, a new laptop stand. For over 2 years I’d been using a folded piece of cardboard taped together into a wedge shape to form my laptop stand. It had since started to get beaten up and I knew I could do better. Using materials I had laying around I modeled up a new one. This version uses 12” pieces of plastic tube I had laying around, sandwiched between 3D printed PETG ends and held together with 1/4-20 threaded rod inside the tubes. It’s pretty stout and looks a lot better than my previous stand, as well as allowing quite a bit more airflow to the laptops intake fan.

You can find the file I modeled for the sides here (195 KB). If you want to make it yourself, you’ll need to mirror the file to make a left and right side.

Next up was rehabbing my old gaming PC. I’d built this thing during the tail end of 2011, so the internal components are far from state of the art. That said though, If I could get it running and slot in a few hard disks for cheap and throw in a few newer graphics cards (x2 GTX 970s) I got for cheap, it could be a pretty decent rendering machine.

I opened the case and was unprepared for what was inside.

So much dust. So, so much dust. And spiders. (Insert bugs in the hardware joke here).

This PC had been stored in an uninsulated shop for a few years, and had gained a few extra strata of grime and critters taking up residence. However, it was nothing a few hours and some dedicated effort with a compressed air gun couldn’t handle.

Hubris, thy name is mine.
I’d completely disassembled and cleaned the needed components of the PC, and when complete re-assembled the parts and attempted to get it to post.

Aaaaand nothing.

Power would go on, fans would start, motherboard based RAM checks would come back all clear, but the damn thing would not post to BIOS. So I decided to look under the the CPU (the one component that I had left in place), low and behold a single pin on the LGA 1155 socket had decided to kick the bucket.

Damn it.

Not wanting to spend a single extra cent on it, I buttoned up the case and shelved it. Although funny enough, the next day I found the successor to this motherboard in the AMD flavor in my makerspace’s free pile. So maybe all is not lost.

Next up, using the 3D printer to print tools that I will use on other 3D printed things. I swear the ancestry of some of my tools has a family tree like the Hapsburg’s.

In this particular case I had an urge to make a plastics heat-set insert jig, specifically the one laid out in this Adafruit tutorial here. And with that I went to work.

In this case I used a new type of filament, Atomic’s Pro PETG, which as it turns out is a pretty fantastic material once you have it dialed in (Ex: 245c, Bed: 95c, layer fan always on, between 50-75%).

Overall a very easy project that should come in handy into the future. Especially given some of the larger projects I have coming up…


But that’s all for now!